As the eighth addition to The Conjuring franchise, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, has a long and established lineage behind it.
The franchise centres around the cases of real-life paranormal investigating married couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively). The first movie, The Conjuring, was released way back in 2013 and was directed by one James Wan (we wonder what happened to that guy…?), followed by The Conjuring 2 in 2016 (written and directed by Wan). The Devil Made Me Do It is the third movie with the Warrens trying to help a supernatural mystery case.
The franchise also includes a prequel to the first Conjuring film with Annabelle, a story which follows a possessed doll that the Warrens came in contact with in the first film. Annabelle was followed by Annabelle: Creation in 2017 and Annabelle Comes Home in 2019.
That’s not all, another character featured in the main Conjuring films has also had its own spin-off with The Nun, a prequel based on a character introduced in The Conjuring 2 in 2018. The next movie is still in development, which is a spin-off from The Conjuring 2 and entitled The Crooked Man.
Last, but by no means least, The Conjuring franchise also includes a standalone film, The Curse of La Llorona, which was released in April 2019 and directed by Michael Chaves, who also directed The Devil Made Me Do It. We asked Chaves if he thought there were any good characters in his latest movie that could create another deadly branch in The Conjuring tree: “It’s funny because that was literally one of the first things that I asked James [Wan],” he laughs. “I was like ‘okay so what are we going to do? Are we going to be doing a demon this time or demon mannequin?!’. I was of course joking with him at the time, but very seriously, he was like: ‘I think we can do something even cooler…’
“He basically started talking about the trajectory of both the story and things that he wanted to explore in the universe beyond it. This movie is full of surprises and things that are unexpected. Up to this point, The Conjuring movies have become so well known for their iconic characters, for Annabelle, for The Nun, and I think that there is a really interesting door opening to another chapter…”
As a producer on The Conjuring franchise since the very beginning, Peter Safran tells us it’s all down to the character as to whether they get a spin-off. “The truth is when we made the Conjuring 2, we didn’t know that The Nun was going to be the character that people absolutely gravitated towards so strongly, which obviously led to the spin-off of The Nun movie. For us, you kind of never know.
“But I believe there are wonderful characters in this one that we introduce that could easily have their own franchise. I think when you see the movie, you’ll see that there are definitely opportunities for spin off characters within it.”
As The Warrens, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, are at the very centre of The Conjuring universe and they put their faith firmly in the filmmakers: “I think that’s the genius of James Wan and [writer] David Leslie Johnson[-McGoldrick],” Farmiga tells us. “They work really hard to make sure [they] curate these entities, these demons, these villains. Whether it’s Eugenie Bondurant as The Occultist or the versions of how evil manifests itself in this story… Absolutely, I can see a world where they’re given opportunities to branch off and explore those characterisations.”
For Wilson, he has something a little, erm, calmer in mind: “Lorraine has a solo film where Ed is just sleeping the whole time!” he laughs. “Ed’s at the beach, and she’s making mac and cheese…”
“We joke about it but that that plot point was brought up [haha],” Farmiga laughs.
“I think we should do like they did with the Star Wars, Ewok Special in the Eighties,” Wilson continues. “I think we should do an ‘at home with Ed and Lorraine’. No scares, just a little romantic comedy. You know, like WandaVision but stranger…!”
Well we’d certainly like to see that!